On Wednesday, a Bollywood
and several captains of industry will be among those bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars for the services of 77 star cricketers in a sporting auction never seen before in India.
Auctions for eight Indian Premier League T20 teams will be held at a Mumbai five-star for 12 hours starting 11 am.
Five players accorded “icon” status will not be auctioned. They will get 15 per cent more than the highest-priced player in their team. The icons are: Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai), Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata), Rahul Dravid (Bangalore), Yuvraj Singh (Chandigarh) and Virender Sehwag (Delhi). Viru joined the elite group on Tuesday after all IPL franchisees agreed to Delhi team-owner GMR’s request that he be made their icon.
The auction will be conducted by English auctioneer Richard Madley behind closed doors at the Hilton Towers in Nariman Point. No one apart from the icons will be allowed in. Franchisees can spend up to $5million on their buys. Players will be contracted for three years.
Based on the lines of the NBA draft, the players have been divided into eight batches for the auction. Lots A, B, C and D are made up of top-rung players. Set E has wicketkeepers, F allrounders, G batsmen, and H bowlers.
There are 25 Indians, 13 Australians, 11 Sri Lankans, 11 South Africans, 8 Pakistanis, 5 New Zealanders, 3 West Indians and one Zimbabwean on the list.
Up for grabs first will be the marquee players from Set A: Shane Warne, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist, Shoaib Akhtar, Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan.